Parisa Azadi


“Birds are Pilgrims Too” is a meditation on grief, spirituality and remembrance. The story explores the identity and intimacy of Hossaini Dalan in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a congregation hall for Shia Muslims to observe and mourn for Imam Husain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

People gather in Hossaini Dalan daily to meditate, to heal and to seek blessings. In Shia Islamic tradition, holy shrines have become symbols for people to make sense of their lives. It is believed that wishes are fulfilled here, giving hope to those who are frail.


Parisa is an Iranian-Canadian documentary photographer. Her work focuses on issues surrounding diaspora, displacement, and cultural identity amongst marginalized groups. Parisa lived and worked in Uganda for a year covering social and cultural issues in rural communities. During her time there, she worked as a freelance photographer for the Associated Press. In 2015, Parisa was an Artist in Residence at the Bronx Documentary Center in New York City under the direction of Mike Kamber. Her work has been published in the New York Times, The Guardian, Associated Press, BBC, Washington Times, Christian Science Monitor and others.